Oxbow Preserve

Area: 30 Acres

 Location: Lathrop, San Joaquin County, CA

Date Acquired: 2004

Acquisition Type: CNLM owns the preserve.  We protect and manage imperiled species and habitats on the preserve in perpetuity

Key Habitats: Valley Foothill Riparian

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Riparian brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani riparius), Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni), Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus)


The Oxbow Preserve was created in 2004 by Union Pacific Homes as mitigation for a development in the City of Lathrop. This 30-acre Preserve was established to protect the federally endangered riparian brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani riparius). The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) took ownership of this Preserve in 2004.

Conservation Significance

Typical Brush Rabbit HabitatThis Preserve is comprised of mixed-age riparian forest located adjacent to the San Joaquin River. Valley oaks (Quercus lobata), cottonwoods (Populus fremontii), willows (Salix spp.), elderberry (Sambucas nigra caerulea), and wild rose (Rosa californica) are common within the Preserve. The Preserve provides critical habitat for the riparian brush rabbit and is one of only a few remaining sites within the San Joaquin watershed that have populations of this endangered species.  The Preserve also provides habitat for Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus) and the state threatened Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni). More than 75 species of birds have been identified within the Preserve.

Our Work

CNLM primary goal is to protect the riparian brush rabbit population and its native habitat. CNLM monitors the Preserve’s conditions including addressing trespass violations, monitoring exotic predators (e.g. feral cats), changes/trends in vegetation and vandalism, removing trash and debris, repairing gates, fences, and signs, and controlling exotic invasive plants. In addition, our activities include coordinating access to the Preserve for outside researchers and monitoring Riparian brush rabbit populations through the use of remote motion activated cameras.

Public Access

Due to the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this preserve, it is not open to the public.


For information about the Oxbow Preserve or Center for Natural Lands Management, please contact Preserve Manager, Erik Gantenbein, at 760.731.7790 extension 213 or email egantenbein@cnlm.org.